Point of care testing: Why laboratory oversight is important.

Point of care testing (POCT) generally refers to the analysis of patient samples at or near the site of patient care, but includes self-monitoring performed by patients. The testing usually takes place outside the clinical laboratory (CL) and is often performed by clinical staff with little or no laboratory training. The main advantage of the use of POCT is that it eliminates the need to transport the sample to the laboratory, making results more rapidly available to the treating healthcare practitioner, thereby allowing for earlier clinical intervention and improved patient outcomes. The key motivation for the placement of POCT devices would therefore be when there is a perceived delayed turnaround time (TAT) when using a CL, resulting in unnecessary delays in clinical decision making. It is important to keep in mind that accessibility to POCT does not by any means circumvent the CL, but extends the laboratory service when a more timely result is required in making a clinical decision.

An approach to abnormal liver function tests

Liver function tests (LFTs) are frequently requested in asymptomatic patients as part of routine screening tests. This article aims to define the components of a LFT, provide indications for a LFT, and outline an approach to an abnormal LFT in general practice.

Interpreting iron studies in deficiency and overload states

Iron studies are a commonly requested laboratory test profile to identify either iron overload or iron deficiency states. An iron profile typically comprises serum iron, transferrin, ferritin and the percentage transferrin saturation.


Health Professions Council of South Africa


3 Clinical


Attempts allowed: 2

70% pass rate


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Ampath Laboratories DxINSIGHTS - Issue 4 - August 2023